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View Poll Results: How low can you go... with tables.

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  • What's a table?

    0 0%
  • There's only room in the nest for one.

    2 18.18%
  • Two levels, no sweat.

    5 45.45%
  • Tables in tables in tables in tables are fine!

    2 18.18%
  • Some people have qualms about nesting?

    2 18.18%
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast morgion's Avatar
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    Nested Tables - How far is too far?

    I'll be the first to admit that I've done some horrific things with nested tables in my day. They make the site look good when rendered, but are frightening when you dig through the code.

    Usually, I only begin to have qualms if I'm nesting two levels deep (a table in a table in a table), and after that I sit back and take another look at the problem before adding another level.

    My somtimes excessive nesting is caused by a need for greater white space; one table is using rows as separating space, another has to be at 0 cell padding/spacing because of backgrounds, but an inner table needs that extra room for text.

    I know I should be using CSS for more of the spacing, but I'm concerned about things looking right in NS 4.x.x... and occasionally I care about what Opera users see.

    So how far into the depths of the table do you guys go before you start to tweak out?
    Lord Morgion
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  2. #2
    morphine for a wooden leg randem's Avatar
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    I'm a purist and a standards evangelist, and I agree with the way the standards are intended to be used. In a strict sense, tables should be used for data, and not for positioning.

    However, in the real world, there are simply too many issues to work out with display, and most times the occasional table will solve the majority of problems as well as speeding up development time.

    So my opinion on the matter is that tables are okay. But nested tables are a major faux pas, and heavily nested tables are just plain wrong.

    I remember a time (during the infamous browser wars) when it was still common to find sites that said "this site requires a browser that supports tables", or frames, or (insert new technology here). It was really a big deal then. Now, we take for granted that everyone can see the tables, frames, or whatever as we intended them, when in actuality there are still some people who can't.

    The magic equation is thus: 1) What does the current standard specify? and 2) How many browsers support the standard? In the end, the standard now is what we will take for granted in a few years.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard iTec's Avatar
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    Im pretty much with ramdem in that im trying to support standards as much as possible, but wouldnt call myself an evangelist. tables are usefull for more then displaying data and they still have several strengths compared to divs and positioning with css.

    Try to restrict your nesting to 2 tables deep, the more nested tables you add to your site the larger the time it takes for browsers to render the page, NS4.x is knowen to crash if it encounters a site with to many nested tables so if you are one of the many that care about that browser (im not one of them) then keep that in consideration when designing your site.

  4. #4
    Former Staff Member silver trophy Adam P.'s Avatar
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    I'm all for nesting tables - but I don't go furher than 2 inside 1.
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  5. #5
    . Ruchir's Avatar
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    yep. agree to everyone posted. rendering tables is good unless restricted to two tables, otherwise it gets too far and nesting looks very messy unless properly formated then !

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    Actually, 3 levels deep is about as far as you should go. Especially if you plan on mixing fixed and percentage based values.
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  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    I voted for nesting only one table because that is as much as I have needed in the past. However, like others have said, try to stick with standards but do what you have to do!
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Guru moonman's Avatar
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    I'm with most others. Two layers is generally as far as I'll go

  9. #9
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    Well, I don't do nested tables full-stop.


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